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Friday 3 May 2013

Blurred image in black and white

What would give me away? A few stray threads? A hole in my tights? A stain on my hat?

Am I the crazy lady down the street or the woman from Paris here to approve plans for the new hotel I'm building in Whistler? If I walk with rolled shoulders, hesitant steps, and furtive glances, I'm on my way to a costume party, but with shoulders back, a graceful gait, head held high, and a ready demure smile, I am the mysterious woman with a story to tell. Who is that?

People who know me know that I am expressing my Paris self with one foot in the present and one in a romantic past, the dreamer, the impish idealist. People who don't can take their pick: crazy lady, sophisticate, perhaps an artist or all three. The tool box handbag might be just what it is - O's tool box with my things jammed inside. Or is it the latest "it" bag from Milan? One thing is certain: if there's a stain on my hat, it's a tool box; if I am impeccable, the bag may be $$$$ and the pearls might be real.

As I pass, I blur in people's vision, which is the best way to preserve a stereotype. Careful scrutiny would show the cracks in the image - dry hands without a manicure, a lack of makeup except lipstick, and inexpensive hair. But I am just myself and I am content. To my knowledge there were no stains showing but I did have a small hole in the toe of my tights. Any stray threads were also all on the inside, simple tickles in the seams. But who's to know that? I wonder what/where/who tomorrow may bring.

  • high-waisted skirt with matching bolero jacket, thrifted from movie wardrobe sale, upcycled from a dress, I finished the bolero last night
  • tool box handbag, from O
  • wide-brim hat, San Diego Hat Co., thrifted, $7
  • tuxedo blouse, thrifted
  • pearls, thrifted
  • mid-heel pointy shoes and tights, retail

The weekend is here. Cheers! I had an immensely satisfying thrifting expedition with Sandra the other day, her first time out. I can't wait to show you the sweet spoils of our hunt. PLUS, today on the way to my coffee shop, I noticed that a pair of shoes I've had my eye on for months and months were marked down from $124 to $37. Bwa-ha-ha-ha!!...I knew nobody else in Vancouver would want them. So ba-bye sophisticated Paris woman - hello Thrifty Glutton! 

Hope you're all well. I'm doing the rounds, slowly but surely. Mwah.


  1. "But I am just myself and I am content." This is a lovely thing indeed.
    I love how you described things that might be considered less than perfect...a hidden fraying here or there.... The garment, it's history, and the person, somehow feels much more interesting.

  2. Love. From every angle, no matter how many dangly threads. You are a little Parisian cray-cray doll. Perfect. ;-)

  3. Fabulous parisina with a tool box, ahhhhhh
    So unique.

  4. Fabulous! You leave it to us to interpret, like a true artist. I see fashion wit and wonder. xoxoox

  5. I am seeing an International Woman of Mystery. Beautiful, elegant, expensive, High Fashion/High Maintenance, slightly aloof and scary but oh-so-enviably-stylish.
    And then with the last photo, quirky joyful dancing Melanie returns, and I breath a sigh of relief!
    What an amazing outfit, love the refashion of the dress into a skirt and bolero, it's inspired. Great hat too.
    I often think I am at my best from a blurry distance. Up close, the wrinkles and stains and falling down hem and loose buttons and unbrushed hair are only too evident. But from a distance - I'm fabulous, darling!
    Looking forward to seeing what thrifting gold you found with Sandra. xxxx

  6. Belle femme, the skirt and bolero are beautiful - you're so talented, and you must be so patient also!

    I love this essay, and I will read it again more slowly so I can savor it. It takes my mind beyond the mundane of thinking that I need to do the dusting today so that I can look at dusting in a different way, a movement of grace and particles of life sparkling in the air. I can't imagine you dusting or cleaning the house, but I bet you make a dance of it if you do!

  7. melanie, crazy lady, you look amazing . i love this outfit and i love the stories, crazy, is so good. lucy

  8. Loved this bit...

    "Any stray threads were also all on the inside, simple tickles in the seams."

    Your writing like your outfits are very fantastical.


  9. I adore how you converted the dress into a high-waisted skirt and bolero - fabulous!

    Snazzy in black and white, my dear.

  10. you look fantastically awesome in your high waist skirt and tasty hat!

  11. I think I should adopt "But I am just myself and I am content" as my new mantra. Such a simple, but profound idea that would remove so much stress from people's lives. This outfit is really striking, and I see you as the confident, elegant Parisienne on her way to her next adventure.

    I had a good thrifting weekend too, nothing really crazy or fancy, but some pretty skirts to wear to work. Can't wait to see what you found.

  12. I do believe you are the French nanny we advertised for in the evening post. Marie Paupins peut- ĂȘtre? Is that medicine for the enfants in your tool box? Lovely. The children will be home from reform school any minute now...

  13. Chic! Can't wait to see the thrift haul and congrats on that shoe sale!!!
    Becky :)

  14. You're a monochrome marvel, very Parisienne! Love that hat.

  15. Your post and your blog are fantastic!!
    kisses from Spain

  16. I'm always impressed how you can show your inner self, or part of it, in your outfits and pics. When I feel French I only take a striped shirt. You are able to vary between all sides of Paris. Chapeau!
    And good luck with the shoes!

  17. This is super chic, a little hint of Parisian style, maybe the muse of a tortured early 1900s painter. Bit of My Fair Lady there too . All wonderful. Love the futuristic element of the silver suitcase xxxx
    you are work of art dear!

  18. Love this post - the outfit, the photos, the words, all of it - wonderful.

  19. You look ready for a mint julep and the Kentucky Derby.

  20. You look ready for a mint julep and the Kentucky Derby.

  21. Fabulous as always.....Miss Melanie.
    When I read the thoughts on what you think your outfits relay I am always intrigued.....I love what you write. I wish I could put into words the same feelings I have.
    Thank you for being such an inspiring and creative lady.
    Here's to hidden holes and blurred images.
    Love V

  22. Pairisian, artist--I think you are just FABULOUS!! you look like you should be strolling at the Kentucky Derby with the hoi-polloi!!

  23. I would say you are an artist going to a vernissage!
    Love that black and white ensemble!
    Very pretty!

    Ariane xxx

  24. "...I am just myself and I am content." Melanie, that's what I love best about you. And the fact that you're magic, of course.

  25. Dry hands, a small hole in the toe of my tights... What the HAY!!! Do you have a secret camera in my room?


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